Friday, May 21, 2010


Ever stand too close to a campfire? Even when it’s cold outside, eventually the air around the flames can get so hot, your skin feels like it’s baking in the sun.

That, by a fraction, might have been how it felt to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they stood on the precipice of King Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace.

But we’ve already discussed what happened before they were thrown in, how they remained unafraid of King Neb and confident in the one true God. They stated their position of faith admirably and courageously.

Did any of that change when King Neb flew into another of his famous rages and ordered the fire stoked seven times hotter? Did the hair stand up on the back of their necks or did their stomachs do a swan dive? Did their statement still hold up in their hearts that moment when King Neb’s guards seized their hands, bound them, and pushed them toward the furnace? Did the cracking, popping and hissing of the living, breathing fire make their mouths run dry? Did they resist at all? Surely, the guards must have reacted to the heat, screaming or trembling while they burst into flames. Did that send shivers through our three boys’ spines?

It sends shivers through my spine.

I wonder how long it took for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to realize that they hadn’t perished in the furnace.

The story is told from King Neb’s perspective. It says suddenly the king jumped up in surprise because he saw four living figures walking around, unbound in the fire.

I wonder how long the boys would have stayed in there, flame-hopping with their Rescuer, if King Neb hadn’t commanded that they come out.

How cool to walk in the midst of flames with God. Talk about extreme sports. I think I’d want to hang out for a while.

But the miracle wasn’t over.

Think about the campfire again. How does it smell? Personally, I like the charred woodsy scent, but it sure does stick to clothing. You pass within several yards of a fire, and you’re going to carry that aroma with you the rest of the night.

Amazing enough that they still had clothes after being in the flames, the boys’ clothes didn’t smell that way. Every hair in place. Every fiber of clothing in tact. The fire had not altered them physically or harmed them one iota. Not at all.

I bet, though, that spiritually and mentally and emotionally, they were changed forever.

It’s one thing to state that your faith is rock solid.

It’s another to act on that statement when you’re actually inside the fire.

They proved their devotion to God.

And God proved everything else showing up to rescue them.

What’s more, it served as evidence to King Neb that God indeed reigns.

Glory be to God!

He showers us with so much grace, empowers us, mingles in the flames with us. He sustains, communes and delivers.

This story encourages me to face the fire with confidence and courage, endure the flames in the freedom and joy that comes with a close walk with my Lover, and emerge from the furnace stronger, tested, and… ready.

For God promoted these boys to a higher position in King Neb’s administration.

Let the flames ready you for promotion.

I hope you are encouraged as well as you face the heat in your life. Painful as it may be, the results are worth it.

Happy Weekending, Dry Ground Friends! Be blessed!


KM Wilsher said...

Their clothes didn't even smell of smoke. Yes, glory to God! I loove this story :0) God will save us, but even if he doesn't I will not bow!

Great week here at DG!